LAXintl
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Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:52 pm

While we have heard this before, and VN has even previously filed for approval with the DOT, in the below article about VN wishing to grow into a decent seized Asian network carrier, the CEO is quoted that they intend to launch service to US, with Los Angeles being the initial destination following FAA audit.

The FAA audit which is scheduled for later this year follows up on 2007 and 2008 ICAO and FAA audits which found shortcomings the Vietnamese government CAA safety oversight.

I suppose if they get a green light, we could have VN crossing the Pacific by early 2013 and surely be a welcome option for the huge Vietnamese diaspora.

Story:
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...e%20Network%20Carrier&channel=awst

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Stitch
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:56 pm

Does UA still operate their connecting service?
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:56 pm

Large market obviously, but I have my doubts. The yields would be in the toilet.
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LAXintl
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:02 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Does UA still operate their connecting service?

Yes there is the daily HKG-SGN tag.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Large market obviously, but I have my doubts. The yields would be in the toilet.

True, but really not much different then places like the Philippines. Anyhow, don't forget VN probably has a rather low cost base, while it has for decades now run long-haul services to Europe.

A US flight would likely get a mix of ethnic travelers, growing tourism, and a bit of business folks especially with the Skyteam membership.

I don't see it being too bad.
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stratacruiser
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:04 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Does UA still operate their connecting service?

Yes, albeit downgauged to a 737-800.

Dave
 
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Stitch
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:07 pm

Quoting Stratacruiser (Reply 4):
Yes, albeit downgauged to a 737-800.

From the original 747-400? *woof*


Well, the 787-9 and A350-900 should give WN some flexibility or long-haul mission planning.

[Edited 2012-04-02 08:09:07]
 
N1120A
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:15 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Does UA still operate their connecting service?

UA does, but it reverted to SFO when the LAX-HKG flight was CX'ed again. I'm interested to see if one of the PMCO 772ERs is put on LAX-HKG.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):

Yes there is the daily HKG-SGN tag.

I wouldn't call it a tag anymore. Its a domestic 738, not an IPTE 744.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):

From the original 747-400? *woof*

Yeah, I flew the 744 to and from Saigon last year. Its really nice to be on that plane for the short flight in C after the long flight across the Pacific, and also due to the early departure of the outbound.
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Rdh3e
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:30 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
True, but really not much different then places like the Philippines.

Exactly, so if precedent is any guide, PR changing to a one stop instead of a non-stop on MNL-LAX should be a decent indicator that those routes are not the best place to make money.
 
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:38 pm

Quoting rdh3e (Reply 7):

Exactly, so if precedent is any guide, PR changing to a one stop instead of a non-stop on MNL-LAX should be a decent indicator that those routes are not the best place to make money.

They only do a stop on the way back from LAX, and that's due to the 744 being unable to do it non-stop. If and when they can put their 77W on the route, I think it will go non-stop.
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LAXintl
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:41 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
I wouldn't call it a tag anymore. Its a domestic 738, not an IPTE 744.

Sure its a tag in the classic sense. You have an airplane waiting to continue the short hop. Very much like how PA/TW did back in the day in Europe.

Anyhow, the ability to rightsize to a 738 has improved the flights performance and now not be forced to operate a costly 744 on the short segment.

Quoting rdh3e (Reply 7):
Exactly, so if precedent is any guide, PR changing to a one stop instead of a non-stop on MNL-LAX should be a decent indicator that those routes are not the best place to make money.

1-stop ?? PR only stops for fuel, as they cant make it nonstop much of the year due payload/wind issues.
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Rdh3e
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:11 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
1-stop ?? PR only stops for fuel, as they cant make it nonstop much of the year due payload/wind issues.
Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 8):
They only do a stop on the way back from LAX, and that's due to the 744 being unable to do it non-stop. If and when they can put their 77W on the route, I think it will go non-stop.

Apologies, I think I'm thinking of the TG flight BKK-LAX..... Sorry 'bout that. But I suppose the analogy still stands.
 
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:39 pm

Plenty of traffic here, yields will be poor but with the low cost base VN has, they should do ok, never going to be a gold mine of a route though.
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mogandoCI
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:33 pm

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 11):

Plenty of traffic here, yields will be poor but with the low cost base VN has, they should do ok, never going to be a gold mine of a route though.

On such a long haul flight, the cost base of crew only matters marginally. It's lopsidedly dominated by oil and equipment type.
 
vin2basketball
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:16 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 12):
mogandoCI From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 1608 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted Mon Apr 2 2012 16:33:38 your local time (39 minutes 50 secs ago) and read 119 times:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 11):

Plenty of traffic here, yields will be poor but with the low cost base VN has, they should do ok, never going to be a gold mine of a route though.

On such a long haul flight, the cost base of crew only matters marginally. It's lopsidedly dominated by oil and equipment type.


Fuel typically breaks down to 45-55% of the flight hour costs, crew costs are actually a solid 15-18%.

But either way, VN with the 787-9 could probably make it work at the right config (9 abreast 280-300 seats, small J)
 
The777Man
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:21 pm

It sounds very promising; let's make sure they get to Cat I first and then we'll see when they'll start.

I guess they propose to start service with a 787 ?

Just a bit skeptical since we've been thru this so many times already.

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rogercamel
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:22 am

The route will probably work - it will almost certainly alternate between SGN and HAN to start with (as the European flights do at the moment).

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
I guess they propose to start service with a 787 ?

Unlikely I'd think - delivery only in 2015 - I'd have thought they'd start with their existing equipment (i.e. 777s) to get the route growing.

VN has a very established network in Vietnam, and a loyal population who I imagine will prefer VN to alternatives. But - both HAN and SGN as airports will struggle to attract much other than O&D and domestic transfers for the next few years. At SGN you have to re-check in onto VN domestic after intl arrival. Also - both airports have terminal capacity problems. Earlier this year I flew out of HAN in their mid-morning intl bank - an unpleasant experience. The early morning domestic departures at SGN are also memorable for the wrong reasons. I imagine that alternatives of SIN, BKK and HKG will remain preferential status for a while to come.

Nevertheless, the Japanese are funding a new terminal at HAN, and there is a whole new airport planned for SGN with a planned capacity of 100 million pax annually (history will show if that happens)
 
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 am

I'm curious, how much J class demand is there to SGN? On one hand, I want to see 'more fragmentation' at my home airport (LAX). On the other, it pains me to see service launched that isn't well thought out. With connections through ICN, PVG, and other international airports, I doubt Y yield will be great. So the question is, what is the J demand to SGN from the USA?

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
Well, the 787-9 and A350-900 should give WN some flexibility or long-haul mission planning.

IMHO, this is a great route to try with the 789. Partially as the type could be routed elsewhere rapidly with good economics (vs. the A345).

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brahmin
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:50 am

VN is probably going to start flights to India soon. I believe that the bilaterals were signed as India has opened that route for its airlines. VN could get a decent load to and from India to LAX.
 
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
I suppose if they get a green light, we could have VN crossing the Pacific by early 2013 and surely be a welcome option for the huge Vietnamese diaspora.

What's the distance between LAX and the airports in Vietnam? What sort of aircraft will be employed? (I'm assuming the triple7) and How does everybody think that these flights will do when it comes to load factor?
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LAXintl
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:10 am

Dont know about J class, however the total demand to Vietnam from SoCal (incl San Diego) is almost 1,000/day !
Its an amazingly large market without its own service that must flow via variety of other airline hubs today.

SGN is far the more preferred destination over Hanoi, which makes sense most of the emigres came to the US from South Vietnam.

Back to J class, whatever it is, over time certainly this will grow as Vietnams industrial sector and trade continues to flurish. Additionally if they manage to develop into a broader Far-East network carrier VN should be able to offer viable connections also. Skyteam membership will also help to some degree.

As far as possible routings, bilateral allows VN to utilize options via Taiwan or Japan(except Tokyo) if they desire a stop on US services.
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rogercamel
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:44 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
I'm curious, how much J class demand is there to SGN?

Probably not much in the next few years - the VN flights I've taken (admitedly all short haul up to 2 hours) have all had heavy Y loads, but light J even within the small number of seats. The aircraft are not exactly configured with high premium loads in mind.
 
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:19 pm

Quoting rogercamel (Reply 15):
VN has a very established network in Vietnam, and a loyal population who I imagine will prefer VN to alternatives.

VN is a State Own airline. Many Vietnamese Expatriates hates the VN government and would not fly it unless they have to. The younger generation don't really care. For both cases, it would probably comes down to cost.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 19):
Dont know about J class, however the total demand to Vietnam from SoCal (incl San Diego) is almost 1,000/day !
Its an amazingly large market without its own service that must flow via variety of other airline hubs today.

I live in the Seattle area, and wouldn't mind flying to the Bay or So. Cal for a direct connection to Vietnam. It beats an 8 hr lay over in Seoul on the return trip. This would also be nice because we have relatives in Cal where we can visit prior or after our trip.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 19):
SGN is far the more preferred destination over Hanoi, which makes sense most of the emigres came to the US from South Vietnam.

This is very true. But from a pure travel stand-point, Hanoi is a much more relaxing port of entry than the Saigon. If you have lots of luggage and are visiting relatives, then Saigon is preferred. If you are traveling light and is there for pleasure, then Hanoi is a great place to start, specially if you want to reduce the temperature shock.   

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gdg9
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:02 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
What's the distance between LAX and the airports in Vietnam?

LAX-SGN is 8,169 miles.
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=sgn-lax
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:30 pm

Quoting gdg9 (Reply 22):
LAX-SGN is 8,169 miles.

So a direct flight is impossible with any of their current aircraft, right?
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Stitch
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:56 pm

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 23):
So a direct flight is impossible with any of their current aircraft, right?
LAX-SGN with ETOPS-180 is 7098nm per GCM, so it can be done with their 777-200ERs, though they will take a payload penalty.

[Edited 2012-04-03 08:58:33]
 
Trucker
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:05 pm

Quoting gdg9 (Reply 22):
LAX-SGN is 8,169 miles
Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 23):
So a direct flight is impossible with any of their current aircraft, right?
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 21):
I live in the Seattle area

So why not fly to HNL and work out a deal with HA for the rest of the trip to the mainland?
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:17 pm

Quoting Trucker (Reply 25):

So why not fly to HNL and work out a deal with HA for the rest of the trip to the mainland?

Unfortunately I can only afford one vacation and HNL deserves a separate trip by itself  

The thing about traveling domestic prior to departure is the number of checked bags allowed. Unless the domestic leg is part of the overall ticket, there will be fees for the additional bag allowed for international flight. We do tend to bring "lots of gifts" when we head over. A looong domestic lay over in HNL on the way back though would be a great way to recoup before heading back to work   

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sunrisevalley
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:53 pm

LAX-BKK takes something over 17hrs for a TG A345. Airways distance is about 7400nm. LAX-SGN is only 100nm less. So it seems to me it will present a challenge westbound . LAX-HAN is some 500nm less , that is probably more doable.
 
PHX787
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:44 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 24):
LAX-SGN with ETOPS-180 is 7098nm per GCM, so it can be done with their 777-200ERs, though they will take a payload penalty.

I read somewhere that VN is considering getting some 77L's? whatever happened to those rumors?
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mogandoCI
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:50 pm

If anything, I'm betting that VN is doing 1-stop SGN-XYZ-LAX, not a nonstop.
 
Caryjack
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:25 am

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
While we have heard this before,

Yes we have but the rumors are trending positive.

Vietnam Al In Talks For A380s. (by FCKC Oct 30 2009 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=4593918&searchid=4595445&s=astuteman%2C caryjack#ID4595445

Vietnam Airlines Order 4 A380s. (by FCKC Nov 11 2009 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=4606492&searchid=4608683&s=astuteman%2C caryjack#ID4608683

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Large market obviously, but I have my doubts. The yields would be in the toilet.
True, but really not much different then places like the Philippines

I'd disagree here: first of all Stitch didn't say it.    Secondly you are comparing an island nation with one attached to a continent. Vietnam is connected by roads to Laos, Cambodia and China which allows inexpensive transportation of people and the unique products of the region to Vietnam's airline hub.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
A US flight would likely get a mix of ethnic travelers, growing tourism, and a bit of business folks especially with the Skyteam membership.

I'd agree with this and add cargo. I think that the exotic flowers, spices and seafood products from that region plus the equipment to a developing region would be a significant revenue source for VN.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
I guess they propose to start service with a 787 ?

If its non stop yes...or get some 77LRs.

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 23):
So a direct flight is impossible with any of their current aircraft, right?

If by direct you mean nonstop I'd say yes. Their 77Es can actually go the distance but they'd be heavily restricted.

quote=PHX787,reply=28]I read somewhere that VN is considering getting some 77L's? whatever happened to those rumors?[/quote]

This from the first link above.

"Quoting Zeke (Reply 13):
VN should go with the 77L.
Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 19):
it be more prudent to use the more range capable cousin to the 777-200ER

I vote for these guys. The 77L also works well on shorter, cargo laden routes."

Still gets my vote but who's to argue with this guy:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
IMHO, this is a great route to try with the 789. Partially as the type could be routed elsewhere rapidly with good economics (vs. the A345).



They are doing a lot of good things but for now, they can offer direct connections, not nonstop.

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 29):
If anything, I'm betting that VN is doing 1-stop SGN-XYZ-LAX, not a nonstop.
Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Just a bit skeptical since we've been thru this so many times already.

I'm optimistic. They didn't buy the A-380s but did order A-350s and B-787s so so I'd give it a   .
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sq_ek_freak
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:43 pm

Ah so for now it seems like if they did start flights it'd have to be a one stop. How quickly can they get their hands on a 77L?

Quoting Caryjack (Reply 30):
If its non stop yes...or get some 77LRs.

I can think of a carrier that's hellbent to get rid of some ULH aircraft very nearby   Jeez can you imagine what the economics of the A345 coupled with the yields on this route would look like? It'd be a bloodbath!
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mogandoCI
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:55 pm

Quoting Caryjack (Reply 30):
I'm optimistic. They didn't buy the A-380s but did order A-350s and B-787s so so I'd give it a   .

It's not the aircraft type, but whether at $100/barrel oil can ULH make any money, let alone to SGN. If BKK can't work, it'd be hard to imagine how SGN would work, even with the 787.

So far we've only observed that ULH works when :
1. One (or both) end point is a massive hub, even when O&D is limited e.g. ATL-JNB, DXB-anywhere, SYD-DFW
2. Nearly no viable alternative transit point without massive detour e.g. BNE-LAX
3. Financial, oil, or tech industry supporting front cabin e.g. EWR-SIN, JFK-HKG, IAH-DOH
 
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Stitch
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:06 pm

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 31):
How quickly can they get their hands on a 77L?

Probably not very quickly.


Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 31):
Jeez can you imagine what the economics of the A345 coupled with the yields on this route would look like? It'd be a bloodbath!

Looking at VN's current hard product, they could fit 24 Business Class and 48 Economy Class between Door 1 and Door 2. That would give them space for 265 Economy seats between Door 3 and Door 5 (per the Airbus ACAP and includes galleys and lavatories) for a total of 337 seats.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:31 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
Yes there is the daily HKG-SGN tag.

I wouldn't call it a tag anymore. Its a domestic 738, not an IPTE 744.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
I wouldn't call it a tag anymore. Its a domestic 738, not an IPTE 744.

Sure its a tag in the classic sense. You have an airplane waiting to continue the short hop. Very much like how PA/TW did back in the day in Europe.

Legally it has to be a tag, linked to a transpacific UA flight, just like DL's change-of-gauge tags operated by 757s between NRT and various points in Asia.
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:14 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
Legally it has to be a tag, linked to a transpacific UA flight, just like DL's change-of-gauge tags operated by 757s between NRT and various points in Asia.

I thought both UA and DL have 5th freedom rights on those intra-Asia flights ?
 
Viscount724
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RE: Vietnam Airlines Plans LAX Service

Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:38 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 35):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
Legally it has to be a tag, linked to a transpacific UA flight, just like DL's change-of-gauge tags operated by 757s between NRT and various points in Asia.

I thought both UA and DL have 5th freedom rights on those intra-Asia flights ?

Yes they have 5th freedom rights but not 7th freedom which they would need to operate stand-alone flights with no connection to a flight originating/terminating in the U.S. The U.S. has negotiated a few bilaterals (Singapore is one I can think of) that permit 7th freedom rights for all-cargo operations but I'm not aware of any passenger bilaterals with such liberal arrangements.

Fifth freedom is defined as the ability to carry passengers between two foreign points on a flight that originates or terminates in the airline's home country, which is exactly what UA and DL are doing on their intra-Asia tag-ons, and any other 5th freedom services they operate elsewhere in the world. Fifth freedom rights usually permits change-of-gauge, so they can use a different aircraft type on the 5th freedom sectors but they're still legally part of the through flight that originates or terminates in the U.S.

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